Sortition has all the benefits of campaign finance reform, and then some. For starters, the great Sortition Amendment will be much simpler and easier to understand than whatever nightmarishly complicated reform scheme it would take to make elections viable. Legislators will be chosen by lot from the entire adult population. Boom, no more campaign spending: the $1,771,368,063 that went into Congressional campaigns last year can now be donated instead to scientific research and children’s hospitals and dirigible-based public transport systems and other such useful things. Without reelection campaigns hanging over legislator’s heads, nobody can be honeyed or coerced into advancing particular legislative agendas, except by the kind of quid pro quo, “here’s a nice sack of cash” methods that are more easily punishable as corruption. Interest groups will still lobby to persuade legislators, of course, but they won’t be able to influence their nomination or the length of their tenure.
Will the Sortition Congress actually be good at making laws? Who knows. Will they be worse at making laws than the Congress we have now? Is that even possible?
Meanwhile, France’s Banque Postale moves to expand its services in 2019:
A thought-provoking feat of world-building.
By (apparently) Rebecca Stirling and Richard Collins? Someone get them a proofreader and publisher, STAT.
Predecessors: there hasn’t been much discussion (in detail) of a fictional socialist USA. It’s played for amusement in “Back in the USSA” by Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman, where much of USSR history is mapped onto the USA.
Terry Bisson’s Fire On The Mountain utilizes precedents of anti-racist activism in the USA to portray a successful slave rebellion in the American south, changing the political landscape forever.
So it’s welcome to see a new spin. Check it out, Comrades. The UASR’s own internal struggle has lasting impact on the globe as well: no ‘manifest destiny’, no Monroe Doctrine.
As PDF via Dropbox [link]
Reddit discussion on worldbuilding project: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/7xcagp/a_full_200page_althistorical_atlas_i_created/
Alternate History Forum Discussion:
“How Finland tackled homelessness and why Birmingham might be following in their footsteps”
A revolutionary new scheme under which rough sleepers are given a home straight away could be officially piloted here in Birmingham (UK) after showing success abroad.
The “Housing First” principle gives rough sleepers a permanent stable home and address rather than move them through various shelters, hostels and supported accommodation.
It has proved such a success in the USA, Finland and several other countries that the Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid is looking to pilot the scheme here – and the West Midlands is making a bid to be that test bed.